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Starbucks Steps Up Nutrition Quality of Food and Beverages

starbucks vivanno orange smoothieThis week Starbucks launched a whole line of new foods and beverages all inspired by customer ideas submitted at My Starbucks Idea. Customers have been clamoring for healthier food choices on the website and Starbucks has delivered with a new line of healthy smoothies (a personal star from me because I have not been able to find a commercial smoothie comparable to something I could make at home), new 300-calorie salads, and healthier breakfast baked goods. They also reformulated their products to adhere to guidelines customers suggested. In my opinion, Starbucks has taken their healthy approach to food to a whole new level. Most of their foods and beverages are under 500 calories. They have made company-wide improvements in the quality of their foods by listening to their customers ideas. That’s setting a standard for the industry.

Here’s the skinny on the changes:

  • No more high fructose corn syrup – this was the #1 change customers requested on My Starbucks Idea
  • No more artificial colors or flavors
  • New menu item selections such as Vivanno smoothies, salads, and a gluten-free orange valencia cake
  • Improvements to ingredients in some of their “favorites” like egg whites in their spinach feta wrap and reduced-fat turkey bacon egg sandwich (real eggs, peeps – no substitutes here! I know, it seems odd to tout real eggs in an egg wrap, but it’s true, lots of places use egg products.)
  • All-natural turkey in their sandwiches

Starbucks let me sample some of their new baked goods. I was impressed with the flavors and product quality overall. The cranberry orange muffin and banana bread (with 30% fresh banana) were my faves. I don’t always go for the baked goods, but as a “sometimes” food these offerings pass the test. They have good nutrition for the calories. These are great for sharing, too.

According to the Starbucks website, their commitment to wellness has already resulted in the following changes:

  • Saving customers 7 billion calories per year, equaling nearly 5 million pounds of fat by using 2% over whole milk as the standard in all beverages and setting nutrition “guardrails” for new products to be less than 500 calories
  • Removing artificial trans fat in all food and beverages in North America
  • Expanding the food and beverage portfolio to include a variety of options, including Fruit Cups, Yogurt Parfaits, Skinny Lattes, Vivanno™ Smoothies and Starbucks® Perfect Oatmeal

What do you think of these changes?

July 6th, 2009